|Cover Art:||Terry Dodson|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man TPB (SM:MK) #3|
Norman starts by telling Gargan that him becoming Venom was not part of the plan and that he'd deal with him later. Meanwhile, Spidey and Black Cat are fighting off the remaining 10 villains. Electro hits Felicia with a blast and Vulture is annoyed at him for not getting in there first.
Meanwhile, Gargan/Venom is taunting Spider-Man about what they're going to do to MJ. Peter thwacks him, before Hydro-Man hits him. Watching from the shadows and about to launch into action, though, are the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Captain America and Iron Man. They jump in to stop things.
MJ, meanwhile, is in her and Pete's apartment - she has just phoned SHIELD - hence Pete's backup. Norman shows up, though. Peter tells Captain America he has to go rescue her, and swings off while the other heroes keep tabs on the villains.
As he's swinging across the city, Spider-Man is intercepted by Venom. They fight across the tops of the buildings, mocking Spider-Man along the way. He's there to stop Pete from saving MJ.
The symbiote shoots tendrils into many buildings, twists his body, and starts buildings tumbling into the crowd below. Spidey uses his webs to make a giant safety net to catch the debris. Spidey's mad, batters Venom and ends up pulling an abandoned building down on top of him.
At Riker's, the doctors are working on Doctor Octopus, and let slip that Osborn has escaped. He begins to go a little mad, and bursts out of the penitentiary.
Pete is still on his way back home, and comes across a deranged Goblin holding an unconscious MJ atop the George Washington Bridge in a manner similar to what he did to Gwen way back in ASM 121 on the Brooklyn Bridge.
A damn bridge again! Individually, this is a pretty good book, but just a couple of months after JMS' Sins Past took us back to the Brooklyn Bridge yet again, this just seems too much. EVERYTHING seems to come back to Norman throwing Gwen off that bridge back in ASM #121, and once again, here we are with the same scenario on a different bridge.
That said, the rest of the issue is fairly solid, if a little too action-packed for my liking. Too many similar-looking fight panels with too many thought bubbles - specifically generic thought bubbles carrying Peter's guilt, which has been explored oh-so-many times before.
The book starts quite shakily. The dialogue between Gargan and Osborn doesn't really fit their characters. His telling Norman that he's "overreacting" just doesn't ring true as a super-villain line.
Also, the Dodsons' art really loses it towards the bottom of page five, where Spidey and Felicia start the fight. Lizard looks so generic, while Sandman just comes over as poor.
It also seems quite flat later in the book when Spider-Man's fighting Venom on his way back to Mary Jane. The art on Doc Ock also looks nothing like the Doc Ock we've seen in the past. In some cases, that can be a good thing ... but here I don't think it is. The Goblin looks fantastic, however.
I liked the issue, but I can't help but think that this type of thing has been overdone so often recently that it just lacks ... something. Villain team-ups vs. hero team-ups just don't hit you dramatically the way they might have done in the past. It's the same deal with MJ being dangled over the bridge. If it weren't for the endless number of times Spidey has ended up on top of the Brooklyn Bridge, the scene would have been really dramatic. Instead, it just has a "seen that before"-type feel to it.
I don't have anything really bad to say about the book and, in fact, on the surface it's excellent. Despite that, however, it really has a been there, done that sense to it that's difficult to shake.